If you’ve been watching beauty trends, you might’ve noticed that a traditional, natural skincare ingredient has become popular again. From scrubs to face masks to teas, turmeric has made a comeback.
The deep-yellow South Asian spice, derived from the turmeric plant, isn’t just for Indian curries, but has also been used in traditional Indian beauty treatments since ancient times.
So why has turmeric made a comeback in skincare?
The spice has been touted for its anti-aging and skin brightening properties.
For the longest time, people believed that turmeric’s yellow pigment, called curcumin, was the reason for the results they saw after using it as a scrub or face mask. It was credited for being a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that played a big role in reducing excess production of melanin.
However, in early 2017, a review published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry and analyzed by Nature revealed that this was not the case. After running tests, curcumin had not shown any anti-inflammatory properties, and therefore doesn’t have a role in resolving any post-inflammation pigmentation.
So, does turmeric have any skin brightening properties?
Possibly. All those personal reviews can’t be completely wrong. Turmeric contains over 300 antioxidants, one of which is vitamin B6, which could be the reason why the spice is so effective — even if it hasn’t been proven yet. This antioxidant promotes cell growth to improve the skin’s turnover rate or renewal. Turmeric also has vitamin C, which is essential to the formation of new skin cells. This could also explain how the spice is able to even out your skin tone over time.
If a natural ingredient like turmeric works for you, we’re not going to suggest ditching this traditional favorite completely. But don’t give up on the humble brightening cleanser and toner. Skincare products have been scientifically proven to help you say goodbye to your dark spots.
Look for cleansers with gentle exfoliating properties to help you shed the top layer of dead and pigmented cells, and pat on toner with cell-regenerating and brightening ingredients, like niacinamide and hydroquinone to brighten your skin.